It's never too early to start looking ahead, right? This could be the most important offseason in recent memory for the Phillies and it could all come down to one person, Bryce Harper.
The Phillies have not been shy about wanting to lure the 25-year-old free agent to Philadelphia and are willing to break the bank to do it. The question is: will he choose Philadelphia over the many other teams that will throw a blank check his way?
The odds are not in the Phillies' favor.
Complete coverage of the Fightin' Phils and their MLB rivals from NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Updated odds for which team Bryce Harper will be on for the first game of 2019 (@BovadaOfficial):
SF +1600 — OddsShark (@OddsShark) October 4, 2018
To me, the Cubs seem like the logical choice and they're the even-money favorites to land the services of the former MVP. Taking money out of the equation, because I don't think the offers from the Phillies and Cubs will be significant enough to make a difference, the Cubs boast a more championship-ready roster than the Phillies, a more seasoned manager, a more iconic ballpark and Kris Bryant, one of Harper's best friends from his hometown of Las Vegas.
If the money is the same, or even close, give me one reason Harper would choose to come to Philadelphia over Chicago.
The Dodgers, for similar reasons as the Cubs, are listed as having a better chance than the Phillies to land Harper, with the Yankees and Nationals not far behind Philadelphia.
Not only do I think Harper would become an instant superstar in Philadelphia, I think he could become one of the most beloved athletes in the city for years to come, should he choose to come to here. However, I just don't see the upside for a guy who desperately wants to win a title to come to Philadelphia over Chicago.
Here's hoping that I'm wrong and the odds are wrong.